Puri, March 23 (Odisha.in) At least seven persons including the head of ancient Emar Mutt in Orissa’s Puri were arrested Wednesday for concealing information relating some buried treasure and spending part of it for their own purposes, police said.
Police arrested Mahant Gadadhar Ramanuja Das the custodian of the Mutt and one of his disciples, two jewelry shop owners, a contractor and two others after a prima facie evidence, inspector in charge of Singhadwar police station in Puri, M.K.Senapati told 'Odisha.in'.
Police have also recovered different sizes of silver bricks weighing a total of about 3 quintals and 40 kg from various places including from some jewelry shops during raids in and outside of the city, he said. Besides police have also seized cash of five lakhs rupees from them, he said.
The Mahant confessed that he with the help of others converted a part of the silver bricks to gold. He also said he was using the money that he made from selling the silver, for his own luxury such as in the construction of houses, buying of vehicles.
Police had kept track of the movement of the Mutt head and others after 522 pieces of silver bricks each weighing 35-40 kg were found in three wooden boxes from a dilapidated house of the Emar Muth in the temple town earlier during a search on Feb 26. The silver at that time recovered was nearly 19 tonnes worth over 75 crores rupees, he said.
The search was carried out after police arrested two persons when they were trying to dispose about three bricks they had stolen from the site while working as labourers during the renovation work of the Mutt in December last year, he said.
The Muth Mahant Ramanuja Das who had earlier saying that he was unaware of the presence of the boxes and the silver bricks, has now confessed that he knew about the hidden silver bricks.
“The Mutt head was the kingpin in the whole matter. We still suspect there could be some more silver bricks either hidden or have been stolen” he said.
The Emar Muth is located in front of the 12th century Jagannath Temple, about 56 kms from Bhubaneswar. Police is yet to ascertain who brought such a huge quantity of silver bricks and why he kept it in the dilapidated area of the religious place. " Our investigation is on" he said.